What Is a Seasonal Affective Disorder & How to Diminish its Effects

Jan 19, 2020 | Wellness

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Find out what is a seasonal affective disorder and how you can beat it as soon the colder days arrive.

Are you feeling a lack of energy, sadness and a drop of motivation the winter season approaching?

Winter blues and seasonal depression are definitely a thing. Learn 5 tips that will improve your mood and help you beat winter blues!

What is a seasonal affective disorder?

If every year you dread winter, fear the days becoming shorter and that the only thing you want to do is stay in bed when seeing grey skies, then you might be affected by a seasonal affective disorder, also known as winter blues.

This tendency of being sad and constantly tired could be associated with the drop of light as soon as the fall season starts.

Indeed, the light decreasing has a direct impact on our melatonin levels which regulates our sleeping pattern.

Too few daylight can, therefore, lead to a sense of fatigue.

I personally experience every single symptom above, in addition to constantly craving sugar.

If that is your case as well, the following tips might help you diminish the winter blues effects and go through the season more pleasantly. Let’s do this! 

How to minimize seasonal affective disorder

1. Get outside

I totally get you if you tell me that you just don’t want to go out when it’s -10 degrees or that there’s no chance you can see the daylight since you arrive at work before the sunrise and leave after the sunset.

However, being exposed to direct sunlight for only 10 minutes could already have a positive impact on your mood.

When possible, walk instead of driving! Take 10 minutes of your lunch break to walk around the neighborhood! Sit on the terrace when you spot some sun rays!

And if you live in a place where the sun shies away from in winter, you can still consider light therapy.

This method consists of exposing yourself to a bright white light (which replaces the sun) in order to lift your mood and energy levels.

I never tried this method, but I probably will consider it once. Leave a comment below if you tested it!

2. Load up on vitamins

It’s probably in the winter season that we are pretty much all deficient in all kinds of vitamins but that we also need them the most. Because yes, vitamins have a huge impact on our mood, energy levels, and wellness.

  • Vitamin C strengthens the immune system and protects again seasonal flu – we can find it in oranges, clementines, kiwis, peppers or kale
  • B vitamins are the ones producing energy – we can find them in dairy, fish and meats, eggs but also in legumes and green vegetables
  • Vitamin D increases vitality and beats depression – your body makes it from exposure to sunlight and can also be found in fish-liver oils or shiitake mushrooms
  • Magnesium has numerous benefits since it might have the power of stabilizing your health, weight and emotional state – we find it mostly in nuts, spinach, dark chocolate and avocado

As you can see, all these vitamins can be found in food, but they can also be taken as supplements if you are struggling in including them naturally in your diet.

I get my supplements and superfoods on iHerb.com since there’s a lot of variety for cheap prices. You can get 5% off of your orders by using the code CBY2374 at checkout!

3. Move your body

Have you ever noticed how good you feel after a training session?

Yup. During and after physical activity, your brain releases endorphins which disperse themselves throughout your body.

Endorphines are also called the “Happiness hormone” (along with dopamine and serotonin) since they deliver a sense of wellbeing and lightness.

So if it’s too cold to train outside, consider joining a gym, swimming in an indoor pool or taking some dancing classes!

4. Bring colors into your life

I am the first one wearing black head to toe as soon as the temperatures reach 15°C or less, but wearing colorful clothes could help bring brightness into your life.

Did you know that some prison cells in Switzerland have pink walls?

They supposedly help people in preventive detention to relax following their arrest…

Well, maybe don’t try the pink walls, but you get the idea (-:

That is also true for your diet! Eat the rainbow and add spices and seasonal fruit/vegetables to your meals.

Learn how to make this easy yet delicious winter salad here!

5. Socialize

Meeting with people, talking, laughing and enjoy the company of friends and family is the best way to forget what is happening outside the window.

If you are an introvert like me and that in addition you struggle going outside in winter, you might need to make a little effort… but trust me, it’s worth it!

There you have them; some of the tips that personally help me face the Swiss winter months!

I really hope they will help you wherever you are in the world. In the meantime, I am still counting the days until spring… tic tac tic tac.


I hope that this article on what is a seasonal affective disorder & how to diminish its effects helped you. What are your tips to help beat winter blues? Leave them in the comment section below so we can all benefit from them!


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my name’s Virginia

I’m on a mission to help women understand, trust & love their body🦋 

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